Internet Made Easy: Jargon Buster

When you access the internet, all the knowledge of the world is at your fingertips, but you’re also overwhelmed with baffling acronyms and jargon. So if you still don’t know your WEP Keys from your Firefoxes, our Internet Jargon Buster is here to save the day.

Attachment
Files such as photos, programmes or documents that are, literally, attached to an email (signified by a paper-clip symbol). Always be careful when opening attachments, especially from people you don’t know.

Browser
A programme that allows you to access websites on the internet. Just like the one you’re using right now. The most popular ones include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. They all have different pros and cons so try out a few and see which one you like.

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Cookie
Spend more than a few minutes online and a site will likely ask for your permission to accept its cookie. These aren’t the chocolate chip variety but a small file that is placed on your computer’s hard drive. It allows web applications to gather and remember information about you. 

Fibre Optic Broadband
If your websites are loading too slowly, you might want to upgrade to Hyperoptic fibre broadband. It’s much faster than regular broadband because the cables used are made of glass or plastic, which is much faster at carrying data than traditional copper wires. 

File Sharing
Sharing files over the internet, typically films, TV shows and music. Most file sharing is illegal due to anti-piracy laws. Depending on your country, the punishments can be severe. 

Phishing
Have you ever had an email from a website you often visit with lots of spelling errors claiming that your account is blocked? They’re actually from criminals trying to direct you to a phoney website to steal your username and password. Essentially, they’re trying to fish (phish) you.

Pop-up
A small window which, literally, pops-up over another web page. These are often intrusive advertisements that you’ll close as quickly as possible.

Spam
Another food-related entry. This isn’t the processed meat that comes in the distinctive tin, but unsolicited commercial e-mail, often for Viagra or mis-sold PPI. Also known as junk mail.

Trolls

You’ll likely have heard about trolls in the news, but what exactly are they? Trolls are people online who delight in being cruel to others, usually anonymously. They tend to leave malicious comments on popular sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, hoping to hurt those with opposing views or who simply seem vulnerable.

Virus
A file written in order to harm another computer. They can be caught by carelessly opening suspicious emails or downloading programmes from untrustworthy sites. If you think your computer may be infected, a good virus checking programme can generally clean things up. 

WEP
If you access the internet wirelessly, WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is a great way to keep you safe and private. It helps prevent other users from accessing your network (and potentially your computer). You’ll need to set up a WEP Key, which is basically a password.

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